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Nov 16, 2022

Saldivar Declares His Innocence in the Face of US Department of States’ Designation

The United Democratic Party remains in shambles and yesterday’s designation of former U.D.P. Minister John Saldivar, by the U.S Department of State, has sunken the party into further despair. Saldivar is considered to be one of the Opposition Leader’s closest allies, even with a political career marred by accusations of wrongdoings. The opposition says it will conduct its own investigation to determine if there is any credibility to the latest accusations against Saldivar. But, there are those within the U.D.P. already calling for Saldivar’s expulsion. Notwithstanding those demanding his removal, the three-time Belmopan Area Representative is not one to back down in the face of the harshest of criticisms. He still has his eyes set on representing the people of Belmopan. News Five’s Paul Lopez takes a closer look on all that has unfolded over the past two days. Here is that report.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

On Tuesday, former Minister of National SecurityJohn Saldivar received what may likely be the biggest blow to his political career to date.  The U.S. Department of State designated the three-time Belmopan Area Representative for quote “involvement in significant corruption”. And, this is not the type of special designation where you are named to hold an official position or office. The U.S. has banned Saldivar and his immediate family members from entering the U.S indefinitely. The Department of State claims that it has credible information that Saldivar was involved in significant corruption while serving as a minister, including accepting bribes in exchange for Belizean immigration documents and misusing a U.S. donated Coast Guard boat for personal gain. But, the disgraced politician is not taking these latest hits to what’s left of his political career quietly. Saldivar has been on a social media tirade, floating a number of theories as to why the US would make such a declaration against him. Yesterday, he questioned whether this is the makings of someone who wants him out of politics. This morning, he wrote about an unnamed car dealer who, during a visa interview with the U.S embassy, made claims about his purported involvement in corruption at the Immigration Department. And for today’s curtain call, Saldivar insinuated that Prime Minister Briceno’s meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken back in September had something to do with the designation. All these speculations have left many believing that Saldivar is grabbing at straws in a last-ditch effort to maintain his credibility only weeks before he is to be challenged in a constituency convention in Belmopan. Luckily for him, he has the support of U.D.P. party leader, Moses “Shyne” Barrow, at least for now. Barrow has declared his political ally innocent until proven guilty, while stating that the opposition has zero tolerance for corruption.  Undoubtedly, this latest development has renewed the fervor of Saldivar’s opponents from within his own party. They call themselves the U.D.P. Coalition for Unity and Reform and already their PR team has churned out an anti- U.D.P. leadership advertisement. Now, the Opposition Leader did write saying that the opposition will take steps to gather all the facts presented by the U.S. State Department and the accused as they determine the way forward. So, it is left to be seen what their investigation will yield and if the U.D.P.’s zero tolerance policy will bear any weight in the face of evidence. Reporting for News Five I am Paul Lopez.

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